skip to main content

I want to...

Current filter:

Floodwater health and safety

Website story floodwater

Wairoa District Council has been working closely with the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board in relation to the recent heavy rain and flooding events.

Hawke's Bay District Health Board medical officer of health Dr Nick Jones said there are instances in the Wairoa township where, due to the heavy rainfall and surface flooding, diluted wastewater has been discharged through manholes, which poses a health risk if people come into contact with it. 

 Dr Jones said because we don't know what exactly is in flood water at any given time it is important people stay away. “All flood water, including puddles and rivers, should be treated as contaminated. Wastewater contaminants may be mixed with flood waters and can cause serious illness. Wash your hands thoroughly if you have been in contact with floodwaters and if it enters your home, you may need to evacuate. 

"People should also stay away from the river until further notice, which may also be contaminated by wastewater overflow."

Both authorities are continuing to monitor the situation, particularly as the heavy rain continues. 
Wairoa District Council chief executive officer Kitea Tipuna said significant rainfall in the Wairoa district over the last 48 hours resulted in infiltration of stormwater into the wastewater network.

Council has utilised the provisions provided under s330 of the RMA to allow for a limited discharge of treated wastewater outside the conditions of its current resource consent. Utilising this provision allows Council to safely manage the location, timing and volumes of treated discharges in line with river and tidal conditions.

Please also be advised of the below health and safety considerations:

  • Stay out of floodwater – Never try to walk, swim or drive through floodwater.
  • Do not drink from, play or swim in or near floodwater – This water may be contaminated and be hiding hazards, such as potholes/manholes and sharp objects.
  • Do not go near manholes – Wastewater backflow may come out of these.
  • Take care on the roads – There is a considerable amount of surface flooding, and the roads are slippery and wet.

Should you require further information, please email

18 September 2021

Back to Archive


Wairoa District Council - Copyright © 2024 Wairoa District Council

Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Wairoa District Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Wairoa District Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Wairoa District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© Wairoa District Council - / +64 6 838 7309 /